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Old 07-14-11, 04:57 PM   #1
Ken Brown
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Finally, respect for Bob Roll

A few years ago there was discussion here about Bob Roll, and I said he was an ugly American, a clown and an embarrassment. I argued that someone who makes his living from the Tour de France should at least pronounce it properly. I don't think I was alone in the debate.

On the other side, people said he speaks fluent French and that his on air persona was an act. That was news to me, but, act or not, I still couldn't respect him as a broadcaster.

He has since changed his act, now pronounces French words properly, and I am now taking him seriously. He knows what he is talking about and is a credit to the telecast. I am not retracting anything I said before, but I am pleased that he is no longer acting like a jackass and has become a very good commentator.
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Old 07-14-11, 05:22 PM   #2
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He's a really nice guy, fun and cheerful. I talked briefly with him a couple times at the Moab Skinny Tire Festival, he is very supportive of the efforts of the festival to raise money for Cancer victims. His Tour mispronunciation was his little act, mocking how so many Americans use the term. I'm also glad he is playing it straight this year, he has a lot of knowledge and expertise to share. We could use a few more like Bob Roll, he's a fun and decent guy.
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Old 07-14-11, 06:28 PM   #3
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Why do the french speaking get more upset about pronunciation than anyone else in the world?
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Old 07-14-11, 06:37 PM   #4
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I like Bob Roll. Can't say much for those two who are on with him -- Craig Hummer and the guy with the glasses. Are they even cyclists?

By the way, its pronounced "Tur day France".
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Old 07-14-11, 06:41 PM   #5
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Why do the french speaking get more upset about pronunciation than anyone else in the world?
French has historically been the chosen language of international business and diplomacy. Nearly all international contacts are written in French first. There are a lot of reasons for it, but the end result is that the French take pride in their language. Since WW2 American English has become more common in business, the French kinda resent that and, to make matters worse, Americans seem to butcher the French language intentionally.

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Old 07-14-11, 06:42 PM   #6
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^ It's not Craig Hummer at the desk this year. They got someone else whose name I don't recall. Hummer is doing spot features in the field.
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Old 07-14-11, 06:55 PM   #7
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Why do the french speaking get more upset about pronunciation than anyone else in the world?
Maybe it's a bit like the way we get upset when countries don't just blindly follow the US into some illegal and mindless wars.
On my visits to France I have found the people there bend over backwards to tolerate my for sh*t French and speak English to help me. I've never sensed the slighted upset from the French that I can't speak French well.
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Old 07-14-11, 06:57 PM   #8
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Craig Hummer and the other guy are on the pre-race show and are seen a few other times with Bobke during the stage.
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Old 07-14-11, 07:07 PM   #9
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... the French kinda resent that and, to make matters worse, Americans seem to butcher the French language intentionally.
I don't see what they're getting so tweaked about, Americans do a pretty damn good job of butchering the English language, too. And they're not even trying to do it intentionally!

Well, that Liam McHugh guy strikes me as being some stick & ball dude, but there's hope for him as he seems to be "getting with the program." That "guy with the glasses" is an ex-pro, used to race w/ LeMond and that other Tour winner, I forget his name...

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Old 07-14-11, 07:22 PM   #10
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Craig Hummer and the other guy are on the pre-race show and are seen a few other times with Bobke during the stage.
All the pre-race shows I've seen this year have Liam McHugh at the desk with some combination of Bobke, Phil, Paul, and the guy with the glasses. I've yet to see Hummer anywhere but in the field this year. At least that's what's on Versus's early morning "live" broadcast, which is the one we Tivo.
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Old 07-14-11, 07:24 PM   #11
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I'll cut some slack for anyone who finished 63rd in the Tour while riding for 7-Eleven in olden times.
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Old 07-14-11, 07:24 PM   #12
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By the way, its pronounced "Tur day France".
now that's funny!!!

BTW try "toor (as in Coors) duh frahnce" (pronounce the r almost as if you were hocking a loogie scraping the back of your throat)

Been speaking French (lived in the French part of Switzerland in late 59 to 63 and every summer until 73) since before I spoke English and I can't help but laugh at some pronunciations....................sorry. I don't get pizzed, just try to correct.

As far as t4mv's statement that Americans doing a good job of butchering the English language.................you are so correct!!
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Old 07-14-11, 07:29 PM   #13
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I've always liked Bob Roll and if he asked me to go for a ride I'd definitely say "yes." And if I'm not mistaken, he used to purposely mispronounce Tour de France as a slap at the French for some reason. Just can't remember what that was.
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Old 07-14-11, 07:41 PM   #14
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I've always liked Bob Roll and if he asked me to go for a ride I'd definitely say "yes."
'Glad you mentioned that; one thing that always drives us nuts during Tour time is the repetitive nature of the ads. While the ads of late (that I've seen, anyway) seem to be getting better, or maybe less annoying, Road ID seems to have done a good job of putting together a nice variety of spots featuring Bobke that get the message across and maybe make us smile. Strangely enough, though, while I have a Road ID bracelet, I've forgotten it on my last two rides. Bobke in person is not to be missed, he's pretty entertaining and is a good ambassador for cycling, and having a good time in general.
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Old 07-14-11, 07:51 PM   #15
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The guy in the glasses is a former American racer, Go Go Gagulski. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Gogulski
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Old 07-14-11, 08:51 PM   #16
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I like Bob Roll.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:03 PM   #17
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I like Bobke, but my wife keeps focusing on his chipped tooth, or whatever that is he's got going on there.

"He's on TV, why doesn't he fix that."

She's always been focused about teeth though.
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Old 07-15-11, 04:08 AM   #18
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Bob is a great guy and lived in Europe for quite a while.
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Old 07-15-11, 05:14 AM   #19
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This guy?
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Old 07-15-11, 06:50 AM   #20
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Bobke has said he started his deliberate mispronunciation of all things French after French waiters (et al) would ignore him and others with him who were speaking French because his (Bobke's) and others' accents didn't match the locals'. It was a response of - okay, you want to be rude? I'll show you rude. Then it became a bit of an "in-joke" with his friends and finally a bit of a "schtick" for him professionally.

If you want to dismiss his cycling accomplishments, knowledge and on-air commentary based on that... well,your loss, not Bobke's.
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Old 07-15-11, 07:09 AM   #21
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Bob's a character. Some get him and like him. Others don't. Kinda like any character.
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Old 07-15-11, 09:50 AM   #22
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Bob's a character. Some get him and like him. Others don't. Kinda like any character.
+1 Any of us would be fools to not recognize that it's impossible to be "everyone's cup of tea." When you're in the public eye, you just expose yourself to a larger audience that likes their tea a different way as well as a larger audience that likes what you have to offer.
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Old 07-15-11, 10:15 AM   #23
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People like Bob have personality and bring interest to whatever activity they are involved in. Boring commentators don't bring in viewers, but extroverted folks, no matter how goofy they may be, will attract viewers attention. I like Bob as he's very knowledgeable about the sport and he likes to have fun when he does it, which is why he does the silly commercials for Road ID, it makes people watch!
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Old 07-15-11, 11:04 AM   #24
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'Glad you mentioned that; one thing that always drives us nuts during Tour time is the repetitive nature of the ads. While the ads of late (that I've seen, anyway) seem to be getting better, or maybe less annoying, Road ID seems to have done a good job of putting together a nice variety of spots featuring Bobke that get the message across and maybe make us smile.
The RoadID commercials this year are far better than they were last year. I will actually stop my fast-forwarding to watch them.
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Old 07-15-11, 01:01 PM   #25
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SO if the French mis-pronounce English words(and they do), then it's OK to bash them?
France is said differently by Americans. So what? The French don't say American words the way Americans do. So?
Why is it such a big deal to the French? If I were in Fraahhnce, I'd say fraahhnce. If I'm in America I will say Frants.

Why is this such a big deal?

I'm assuming he is on Versus saying Frants? Which is broadcast in.............America? O................K.

O.P. are you sure you aren't in Quebec? I said Kaybek. Is that OK?
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